Midi Routing / Control when Using External Midi Controllers with Mk3 / Maschine 2.0

sjbradley66 Member Posts: 6 Member

Hi folks,

This discussion topic has evolved from another one so I'm creating a new heading for it....

I'm doing live looping / playing with Mk3 and multiple external midi controllers. I would like to be able to set up kits and instruments and switch back and forth between different instrument configurations using the same external midi controllers when performing / composing / looping.

So I have two external midi controllers I'm using (Handsonic HPD-20 and a JamKat from Alternate Mode). I'm a percussionist so these are useful / versatile and allow me to use a combination of hands / sticks to generate the rhythms I want to layer while then using the Mk3 keypad for things like bass lines / drones / keys - more tonal stuff.

Let's say in Group 1 I have two instruments - each controlled with a separate midi controller. Easy enough. After laying down the basic track then I want to switch to group 2 and using the same controllers layer in two additional instruments. Here's where it gets tricky.

At this point I need to route the signal from the midi controllers (their midi out) in such a way as to only play the instruments in group 2 now. To my knowledge based on help from the first discussion, I need to put those instruments in group 2 on a separate midi channel from the ones in group 1 - and then take the midi outs from each controller and switch those to the same channel. That way when I play Group 2 it's only Group 2 that gets added to the mix. If I want to go back to Group 1 I need to switch back to the midi channel controlling Group 1's instruments.

What's kinda frustrating is that NI has figured out a way to ensure that when you play the pads in each group it doesn't activate the sounds in the other groups. I want to achieve this same level of control over Group instrumentation - but with external midi controllers.

I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for any input / suggestions (including any software or gear you might suggest that would do this on a Mac M1 running OS 11 or higher).





  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 262 Pro

    You could just keep one of the groups muted.

    Here's your setup: Group A is just going to be used for output. Put an EQ or compressor on the group or one of the pads. I'd use pads 1 and 2.

    Group B will be your first set of instruments. Pad 1 for one of your midi controllers. Pad 2 for the other. Record audio loops to any other pad in the group. Route the pads with the loops to Group A.

    Group C is like group B. Mute the group.

    Lets say you record a loop on B1:S9. Since that pad is routed to group A, muting the group isn't going to stop your loop from playing, but it will stop midi from playing. It doesn't matter if your midi controller is going to both group B and C; just keep one muted.

  • sjbradley66
    sjbradley66 Member Posts: 6 Member

    I was just thinking about something like that - working with the Mk3 in real time to "switch on" and "switch off" the incoming midi notes / input in different groups when switching to / from those groups. This looks like a nice workaround - I will definitely give this a go! Thanks!

  • sjbradley66
    sjbradley66 Member Posts: 6 Member

    Hi, so one question here - how do I record audio loops to any other pad in the group? What's the routing for this? Thanks!

  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 262 Pro

    Pad 1 is set to use your midi controller as the input. It doesn't matter if another pad has focus. Just select another pad, hit sampling and point the input to the group or external input.

    So lets say you have a some kind of percussion on group b pad 1. Your midi is going to pad 1. You proactively set pads 9 - 16 to route over to group a. Select pad 9, press sampling, set the input to group b. Set your options and hit start. Your sample is placed on pad 9. Do it again, but select pad 10. Your sample will be loaded to pad 10. You're not going to resample whatever was going on in pad 9 because the output isn't going to group. You've got 6 more pads to play with

    I've been sitting here playing with it; mode: loop, length: 2 bars; target: sound. Recording to pattern would probably make more sense for performance. I haven't used it (I'm not really into the performance aspect of maschine). The testing I've just done doesn't give the smoothest transition when using patterns this way, but I think it's something you could plan for.

    The looper in maschine is so underrated. You can even connect a pedal to start the recording. I'm not a performer, but it sure makes me want to pretend I am.

  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,515 mod
    edited January 2022

    Set midi to focus mode in preferences, then your midi from the pad controller will automatically go only to the group/pad you've selected, so it's a fast press of a group/pad button to switch to another set of instrument - how could I oversee this in the first place. Will try tomorrow to confirm.

    Under preferences/default/sound set default to focus. Then you will notice what i mean if you try it out.


  • sjbradley66
    sjbradley66 Member Posts: 6 Member

    Hi I tried this out and it seems to work really well- thank you!!!!!

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